Bayside Gazette 10031 Old Ocean City Blvd.
Berlin, MD 21811
Phone: 410-641-0039
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'Young Playwrights Class' set to perform original scripts

8/22/13 | By Sheila R. Cherry, Associate Editor

OCEAN PINES—The “Young Playwrights Class," sponsored by the Ocean Pines Recreation and Parks Department, will present a reader's theatre performance of their original scripts on Aug. 25 at 3 p.m., according to instructor Sandy Lanier.

The performance, presented by young playwrights Marissa Wheaton, Danasia Wright, Kinsie Ruckle and Jackson Darlington and youth actor Emmanuel Aroh, will also be featured in the presentation, Lanier said. The students are fifth and seventh graders who were participants of her screenwriting course “scripting of Film & Television,” which was held at the Community Center in June. 

Recreation Supervisor Eric Armstrong said Lanier preceded him joining the Ocean Pines staff and had been conducting the theatre training courses for many years. He added that she has many repeat customers.

She spends most of the year helping her students build their characters and improving their improvisational skills, he said. The August performance is the program’s one big event, at the end of the training, according to Armstrong.

The writers/actors were rehearsing and refining their work in August, according to Lanier. This summer's program will mark her fourth with the department, she said.

The performances are free and will be in the Assateague Room. Lanier said donations are welcome and any received would be used to help continue the program and others like it.

Several of the students are theater veterans and have aspirations of careers in acting. They will read from four scripts during the hour-long performance, designed to showcase what they have written.

The vignettes that have been written from the imaginations of the young writers include:

“Shakespeare’s Angel,” by seventh-grader Marissa Wheaton. It is a mystery takeoff on “Hamlet,” with characters named after several of the bard’s well-known heroes and villains.

“From Two Different Worlds,” by seventh-grader Danasia Wright. It will provide a lesson on tolerance in an environment of mean girl bulling.

“The Gingerbread Man,” by fifth-grader Kinsie Ruckle. Like it sounds, Ruckle’s play is about a spicy cookie, which moves to a new town only discover he is the coveted dessert.

“Vegas Baby,” by fifth-grader Jackson Darlington, has written a play that takes place in a Las Vegas casino. The interesting slant is that Darlington has never been in either a casino, or Las Vegas.

Lanier has worked as a professional actor and director in London, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., and has been working primarily with children and teenagers since arriving on the Eastern Shore. 

“I have directed adults and children in shows for several years in various locations. I have also had after school theatre programs and some performances at Stephen Decatur Middle School and at my current school, Buckingham Elementary,” she said.

Lanier said starting on Sept. 7, she will be offering “Kid Capers” classes on Saturdays for 12 weeks. The sessions will include instruction for improvisation for children ages 8-11 and scene study for children ages 12 and older.

Additional information about the courses is listed in the Ocean Pines Fall Guide, on the Recreation and Parks Department Web site or available by calling 410-641-1333.

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